Sega has announced two new hardware platforms that will power its next wave of coin-operated titles. The so-called RingEdge and RingWide platforms are - similar to its last two arcade boards - based on PC architecture, and offer two separate and distinct performance levels. RingEdge is what interests us as all of Sega’s top-tier arcade releases will appear on it.
- Intel Pentium processor E2160 @ 1.8GHz
- 1GB 800MHz DDR2
- Powered by nVidia
- 384MB with GDDR3 memory
- Shader Model 4.0 support
- Dual screen output (maximum resolution 1920×1200)
- High Definition 5.1 output
- 32GB SSD
Hardly a powerhouse, and definitely geared to cheap production, the board initially looks like a downscaled version of the Europa-R hardware that ran its most recent Sega Rally coin-op, which boasted a similar dual core CPU and an nVidia 8800GT, albeit with a whopping great 4GB of RAM.
So what is the mystery nVidia hardware in the RingEdge board? The 384MB video RAM package gives the game away - nVidia only make one card with that memory configuration and that would be the 8800GS, recently rebadged as the 9600GSO: In short: a poor man’s 8800GT, let down somewhat by a 192-bit bus and limited RAM, but still a pretty useful piece of graphics hardware.
In terms of the RingWide platform, that’s much the same, albeit running with a 2GHz Celeron and a bargain-basement low end ATI GPU (we’re not sure which, but being that it has only 128MB of RAM, it’s going to be a really awful chip). No SSD for the RingWide either - its games are crammed onto 8GB compact flash cards.